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Six Prefab Passive House Designs

Villa Varde Villa Tartan

Kjellgren Kaminsky Architects have designed six new passive house designs for presentation at the Stockholm Housing Fair occurring October 9-12, 2008.  Shown in collaboration with Emrahus, these prefabricated, zero energy designs present a compelling concept for what is possible with good design and conscious materials.  Passive houses, using the definition of KKA on their website, "are extremely well-insulated buildings that are largely heated by the energy already present in the building.Passive homes attempt to rely as little as possible on extra mechanical systems — they conserve first and foremost.  Scroll through these six passive home designs and leave a vote for your fave:

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Harbinger Container Home at WCG 2008

Second Floor - Harbinger House

So here’s the deal.  The Harbinger SG Blocks Showhouse was bad out.  Everyone I talked to loved it.  You might think that a shipping container home would feel closed-in and constrictive, but this home certainly wasn’t.  At 1700 sf, everything felt just right to me.  I was able to sneak into the Exhibit Hall early enough to get some killer images (in case you couldn’t be there), so let’s talk a walk through the Harbinger House below.

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Eco-friendly Modular Home Built in 60 Days, Uses 50 Percent Less Energy

Modular

Country Living Magazine’s October issue highlights an eco-friendly, modular home constructed in just 60 days by New World Home.  The home’s design is traditional and used a 19th century home as a model.  The highly energy efficient home uses 50% less energy than the average home and their modular process allows them to use less wood in the building process. 

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Prefab is Not the Answer to Affordable, Modern, and Green Homes

This article was authored by guest Chad Ludeman of Postgreen Homes. 

Prefab homes seem to be showing up more and more in the media these days, especially with two large exhibits in Philadelphia showcasing their history this year.  Like many, I hoped that prefab would be the answer to bringing modern architecture to the masses in the US and beyond.  I thought that finally, modern home design would be attainable by those of us who aren’t pulling in lofty six figure incomes. That was until I conducted extensive research into the possibility of starting a development company in Philadelphia using only prefab homes.

Don’t get me wrong, I love prefab and many of the firms out there with cutting edge designs in the prefab realm.  There are also a variety of building lessons that can be learned from the prefab methodology.  I just don’t believe it is the best way of delivering modern design to the average new home buyer.

Below we will look at this issue from two points of view.  First, we will look at the prefab industry and try to dispel some of the myths that have arisen around it.  Second, we will take a quick look at how the housing industry may be able to learn from both prefab and site-built homes to create a hybrid approach that will provide a better, more accessible solution to the home buyer and hopefully reduce the barrier of entry to modern, green, and unique residences.

Names and firms have intentionally been left out of this post in an effort to discuss only the facts, dispel some of the myths of prefab, and possibly look towards a better method for bringing modern homes to the average American.

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Sneak Peak: Venice Live/Work House

Venice Live/work

How about kicking out a shout to the newly established blog by EcoSteel?  I was emailing with EcoSteel’s Kelvin Findlay about their new projects and the blog came up.  So I start looking through the first few posts and, of course, this Venice Live/Work home caught my eye.  I mean, how can it not?  Apparently the home is ready to go in California and EcoSteel is bidding out the contractor work at the moment.

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Aviator Energy Efficient Live/Work Units Planned for Steamboat Springs

Aviator

I just received an email about an interesting project on the cusp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado called Aviator.  Aviator is a mixed-use, multifamily and storage units facility that’s targeting LEED Gold certification.  Seeking superior energy efficiency for the project, Olson Development retained EcoSteel to provide the structure.  EcoSteel calculates that their company could contribute ~18 points towards overall certification of Aviator based upon energy efficiency (10), heat island effect reduction (1), and recycled, reused, and regional materials use (7). 

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